The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration is coming out with new regulations in the hopes of helping the Right Whale population. But 44 legislators on Beacon Hill, Republican and Democrat, are all in agreement:
“From everything I’ve heard from our local lobstermen, this would virtually put them out of business,” State Representative Vinny DeMacedo said.
DeMacedo is a member of the Massachusetts Coastal Caucus, a group of legislators that represent coast land in the Commonwealth.
“NOAA is telling the lobstermen that they are going to close down an area off the coast here from December 1 to April 30,” Demacedo explained.
And it’s based on bad science, according to Representative Jim Cantwell.
“The whale population that we’re talking about defending is all up and down the east coast, yet they’re only closing a section in Massachusetts,” Cantwell said. “That shows that this is an arbitrary decision.”
Senator Bob Hedlund says it’s about getting the state’s data to Noah.
“We have data, for instance, that shows that we think there hasn’t been the impacts to the Right Whale that NOAA believes in their data,” Hedlund said. “We’re trying to present that data in hopes that these regulations are revised.”
He says the regulations would cut out the holiday season for lobstermen, usually one of their most profitable times of year.